Foreign Tire Sales (FTS), a New Jersey importer, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have issued a recall for 255,000 light-truck tires made in China under the brand names Westlake, Compass and YKS. The steel-belted radials were sold as replacement tires for vans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks between 2004 and 2006.
According to the recall notice issued by FTS, the "affected tires do not have a gum strip or they have an insufficient gum strip between the steel belts which may result in the tread and/or belts separating from the tire. If this happens, a driver could lose control and crash."
The Associated Press reports that FTS has been sued by the families of two men whose van was involved in a fatal crash in Pennsylvania in August of last year. The tires on the van, the lawsuit states, were manufactured by the Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Company in China. The company denies that the tires are faulty.
FTS contends that Hangzhou Zhongce changed the construction of the tires without informing the importer.
In the recall notice, FTS shows consumers how to check the sidewalls of their tires for the brand, size, model and Department of Transportation number. FTS has also posted a video on YouTube that shows how to inspect your tire for the relevant information.
Here is what to look for:
Brands: Westlake, Compass, YKS
Model numbers: CR857; CR860; CR861
Sizes: LT235/75R-15; LT235/85R-16; LT245/75R-16; LT265/75R-16; LT31X10.5R-15
Partial DOT numbers: 7DT5FTS...;7DT2FTS...; 7DT3FTS...; 7DT4FTS...; 7DT6FTS...
Please note that the DOT number should include dates from 0404 to 0206.
The Foreign Tire Service is a family-owned importer based in Union, N.J. It has no retail operations but sells tires directly to distributors across the country. Dealers will attempt to contact owners of the tires by mail. Consumers affected by the recall will have their tires replaced at no cost and can get instructions for doing so by calling the hotline at 888-899-9293 or visiting the FTS website, www.foreigntire.com.
Consumers who replaced their tires after June 11, 2007 can submit a receipt to Foreign Tire Sales, Inc., 2204 Morris Avenue,, Suite L-5, Union, NJ 07083, attn. Recall
Find out more about tire selection and safety in our car section.